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Methods of Cooking: Boiling, Poaching & Steaming

    BOILING

    This is the method of cooking food in boiling water. Sufficient water is used just to cover the food and the water is heated to boiling point. It is a common method for cooking nearly all types of foods. Such foods include root vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, pulses and cereals.                       

    REASONS FOR BOILING

    1. To soften food.
    2. To extract nutrients from food.
    3. To preserve the nutrient in food.

    RULES FOR BOILING

    1. Select pans which are neither too small nor too big.
    2. When cooking in boiling liquid, ensure there is sufficient liquid and that is at boiling point before adding food.
    3. Place the food in boiling water and continue to boil gently for a short time so that it will not break.
    4. When cooking food to extract nutrient, cut it into small pieces to expose as much of the inside as possible. Put food in cold water, heat slowly to boiling point and cook for a long time.
    5. If nourishment is to be preserved, place the food directly in boiling water. The heat of the boiling water seals the surface and coagulates the outside proteins of the food e.g. meat and keeps the nourishment and flavour in the food.
    6. When cooking old root vegetables and tuber, place in cold water and bring to the boiling as these take a longer time to soften.

    EVALUATION

    1. What is boiling?
    2. State three rules as regards boiling.

    THE VARIOUS METHODS USED IN BOILING FOODS ARE:

    • Allow the food to absorb the water used in cooking e.g. boiling of rice and beans.
    • Add water to the food and boil so that the stock is strained from the food e.g. boiling of yam and plantains
    • Mix the food in water before cooking examples in the preparation of porridges, corn-food and yam flour.

    ADVANTAGES OF BOILING

    1. It is a quick and easy method of cooking.
    2. It makes food easy to digest.
    3. It does not need constant attention.
    4. It is a cheap method of cooking.
    5. It is suitable for all health condition.
    6. Two or more foods can be boiled at the same time.
    7. Liquids obtained after boiling (stock) can be used for soups and sauces 

    DISADVANTAGES OF BOILING

    1. Some food nutrients such as water-soluble vitamins and some minerals can be lost in the boiling water.
    2. Boiling does not develop the colour and flavour of food.
    3. Food often look unattractive.
    4. It is rather long and slow method of cooking when compare with frying and frilling.
    5. It may lead to breakage of food.

    EVALUATION

    1. State three advantages of boiling.
    2. State two disadvantages of boiling.                        

    POACHING

    Poaching is a gentle method of cooking delicate foods like egg and fish to retain the maximum food value. The food should be cooked in a pan, half-filled with water. Then gentle heat to just simmering point, baste the food with the hot liquid from time to time until food is cooked.

    In preparing poached eggs, enough water to cover the eggs is brought to the boil in a shallow pan. Salt, lemon juice or vinegar is sometimes added to the water to hasten coagulation and thus improve the shape of the poached eggs. The eggs are broken into a cup and dropped gently into the water. The water is reduced to simmering point until the eggs are firm but not hard.

    Alternatively, eggs can be poached in a specially designed pan for poaching.

    ADVANTAGES OF POACHING 

    1. Poached foods are easy to digest and therefore suitable for infants and people with a weak digestive system.
    2. Poaching maintains the maximum food value.

    DISADVANTAGES OF POACHING

    1. It needs constant attention and skill.
    2. Suitable for few types of food.

    EVALUATION

    1. Explain poaching method of cooking.
    2. State two advantages of poaching.

    STEAMING

    Steaming is a method of cooking in steam from boiling water. In steaming, there is no direct contact between the food and the water. Foods suitable for steaming include:           

    • Small pieces of meat e.g. chop
    • Puddings e.g. milk pudding, chocolate pudding, moi-moi, etc.
    • Suet pastry, egg custard
    • Fresh dried fruits
    • Root vegetables and potatoes
    • Small fish or fillet

    RULES FOR STEAMING

    1. The water should be boiling before the food is placed inside.
    2. The water should be kept boiling until the food is cooked.
    3. Choose a pan with a tightly fitting lid to keep in the steam.
    4. If necessary always add hot water and not cool water when cooking is in progress.

    EVALUATION

    1. State the four rules to observe when using steaming method of cooking.
    2. Mention five suitable foods for steaming.                                     

    ADVANTAGES OF STEAMING

    1. Steamed food is light and easily digestible.
    2. There is no loss of food nutrients in to the water during steaming.
    3. It is a conservative method of cooking.
    4. There is little risk of over-cooking.
    5. It is an economical and labour- saving method cooking.

    DISADVANTAGES OF STEAMING

    1. It is a slow method of cooking.
    2. It is only suitable for soft and small pieces of food.
    3. Not many types of food can be cooked by steaming.
    4. Steamed foods are not as palatable as food cooked using other methods.
    5. Steamed foods are not as attractive as some methods of cooking.

    GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTION

    1. Explain the meaning of steaming method.
    2. State the rules to be observed in using steaming method of cooking.
    3. State three advantages of steaming method.
    4. State three reasons why we boil food.
    5. State two disadvantages of boiling method.

    WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

    1. Cooking with steam is called ____ A. boiling       steaming    C.  frying         D.  stewing.
    2. A ____ food is more digestible than food cooked using other methods A. steamed B.  boiled C.  fried D.
    3. Cooking food with sufficient water is called ____. A. boiling B.  cooking C. simmering
    4. all of the above.
    5. Cooking and straining the stock from food is best with____. A. corn-food B. beans
    6. plantain D. yam flour
    7. The gentle method of cooking egg or fish is called ____. A. frying B.  stewing C.  roasting D.

    THEORY

    1. State three advantages of boiling method.
    2. State two disadvantages of poaching.

      See also

      COOKING OF FOODS

      FLOUR COOKERY: Types of flour, Raising Agents & Flour mixtures

      FOOD COMMODITIES: Cereal, Pulses, Herbs and Spices

      FOOD COMMODITIES: Milk, Vegetables and Fruits

      FOOD COMMODITIES : EGG, USES OF EGGS, METHOD OF COOKING EGGS & Fish,

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